Prosecutors: Woman fatally beat family dog, bragged about it

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2015 11:55 AM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A woman has been arrested on charges she used a shovel and claw hammer to fatally beat her family's dog, then bragged about it, authorities said.

Mercer County prosecutors say 19-year-old Hightstown resident Michelle Wankoff faces several counts, including animal cruelty and tampering with evidence.

The charges stem from an investigation that began when Hightstown police got a tip that Wankoff had bragged about killing and burying the 9-year-old mixed breed dog.

Authorities say Wankoff tried to poison the dog with various medications late last month. When that failed, they say, she repeatedly hit the dog on the head with a shovel and claw hammer until it died.

After storing the dog's body in a small refrigerator in her bedroom for a few days, Wankoff buried the animal in a shallow grave in the woods near her home, authorities said.

State examiners will conduct a necropsy on the dog.

Prosecutors said a friend of Wankoff's was cited for tampering with evidence because he helped Wankoff bury the dog.

A telephone number for Wankoff couldn't be found Monday. It isn't clear if she has an attorney who could comment on the charges.